Sunday, December 15, 2013

Communication

Gratitudes for Sunday, December 15th, 2013

I'm grateful that my wife is open and honest with me-- even when that may lead to a tough, undesirable conversation. Better to have the communication lines open, than to have deceit or hidden, negative feelings.

I'm grateful that my wife finally received her diploma Saturday.

I'm grateful that my wife enjoyed several moments of great happiness today.

Positive Event from the Past 24 Hours

My wife and I had dinner with family and friends after her commencement ceremony. She took the time to express her thanks to me for standing by her and supporting her through school. I felt proud of her and I was honored to have had the change to play a significant role in her success.

I also think back to last weekend. I was remiss in posting that my wife and I went out dancing last week. That was a positive event that I've kept thinking about across the week.

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If you haven't already done so, I invite you to read my main title post in order to better understand the purpose behind this blog. In that post, you'll find links to three TED Talks that could really impact your life in a positive way.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Cold Outside, but Warm Indoors

Ooops!

I scheduled a post to publish on the December 6th (last Friday); however, the blog entry didn't post as intended. I don't know what I did wrong. Regardless, I finally got my entry to post retroactively. So, check it out if you're interested:

Book Share Times Two: The Adventures of Johnny Bunko & Strengths Finders 2.0


My Gratitudes for Wednesday, Dec. 11th, 2013

I'm grateful for central heating.

Yet, at the same time, I'm grateful that it's cooler lately. I get tired of the mugginess that come near the Gulf during summer months. I welcome this colder air very much.

I'm grateful for the management style of our IT Director. When we run into problems that are urgent, he supports us rather than rail against us. I'm really grateful for that.

Positive Event from the Past 24 Hours

My son won a chess game against an opponent who is usually difficult for him to beat. He started studying a few weeks ago. Looks like his studying is paying off. I'm happy to see him focus on something worthwhile for once.

My daughter showed me some items she made out of clay. At first, I thought she was just showing me toys she got from school. Then, it dawned on me that she made them. Wow! I need to put her in sculpture / art classes or something.
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If you haven't already done so, I invite you to read my main title post in order to better understand the purpose behind this blog. In that post, you'll find links to three TED Talks that could really impact your life in a positive way.

Friday, December 6, 2013

BookShare Times Two: The Adventures of Johnny Bunko & Strengths Finder 2.0

Eleven Years of Your Life Will Probably Be Spent at Work

My guess is that most working adults in the United States are familiar with the 40+ hours per week model. Consider how 40+ hours a week can add up to a large portion of your life-- all spent at work. Think about it: Forty hours a week for 50 years can take up 11 whole years of your life. If you're on that trend, then it behooves you to ensure your work is enjoyable at least most of the time. Enjoying your work, then, is vital to experiencing a life full of happiness.

Johnny Bunko Knows; And He Can Help

If your work is not currently enjoyable or perhaps you wish it were more fulfilling, then let Johnny Bunko come to your aid. The Adventures of Johnny Bunko, by Daniel H. Pink, is perhaps that one career guide you should have received after high school graduation, but probably didn't. Now is an excellent time to change that misfortune for yourself-- and maybe for a friend or loved one, too. Pass it on to a friend or relative once you've finished it, or consider buying an extra copy for a friend.

Not Just Another Career Book

The Adventures of Johnny Bunko is an outstanding career guide for two main reasons. First, the book stands out due to its visually appealing nature. Yeah, that's right . . . this career guide is patterned after a Japanese manga. The artwork by Rob Ten Pas ensures that you won't run into a dull moment or experience any dry reading. Second, this book stands out because Daniel H. Pink provides content that equips you with the ability to discover for yourself the sort of work you should pursue. Rather than just shoving you into a job title or career category, you learn how to apply your unique abilities to your current job-- or how to apply yourself in a different work environment and pursue new, more meaningful work.

Why Being Shoved Into A Job Title Simply Doesn't Work

How can a career guide be worthwhile if it never suggests a job title for you? Because-- suggesting a specific career is nearly useless due to the fact that job titles and work environments are not static. So, unless someone can predict both the work environment you'll find yourself in and match that environment to your personality traits, then no one can truly predict the job title that is best for you.

What Makes Johnny's Adventure So Helpful, Then?

Despite never providing any job title suggestions, Pink's work is still invaluable. He introduces six lessons for understanding yourself and the workplace. He revels these six lessons through the story of the young, hapless Johnny Bunko. Once you contemplate the implications of these six lessons and see how they transform Johnny's circumstances, you'll start to understand both yourself and the needs of the workplace. Knowing those two pieces of information will inform you on where to seek better, happier and more meaningful work. And happier, more meaningful work can possibly be found at your current work place! And if you can't find better work where you are, you'll at least know what to look for as you move on to a new work environment.

Not Weaknesses, but Strengths

Among the six lessons that Pink shares, he encourages us to avoid work that requires a constant struggle with our weaknesses; instead, find work or activities that require the use and honing of our strengths. All too often, the notion of honing our strengths is underrated and undervalued when compared with how often we're encouraged to improve upon our weaknesses. This notion is not to suggest we never need improvement on some weaknesses at certain times; however, consistently undervaluing our strengths often has an undesirable result: our best self remains a mystery.

Now it's time to solve that extremely important mystery by reading the other career book you probably should have received at your high school graduation:

Strengths Finder 2.0.

Solve The Mystery

Daniel Pink performs a great service by encouraging readers to emphasize their strengths, but he doesn't have the time to explore the details of how you should discover your strengths for yourself. However, Pink does offer references worth further investigation. If you should follow through with his references, you'll eventually find yourself holding Strengths Finder 2.o in your hands.

How Does Strengths Finder 2.0 Help?

Strengths Finder 2.0 can be a tremendous help because it provides access to an on-line test that identifies your personality strengths for you. After taking the test, you receive a report of your top five personality strengths along with deeper analysis of your results. Then, you can use the analysis and the book to better understand the kinds of activities and work environments which require your strengths-- enabling you to thrive. Pursuing these activities will allow your work to shine and greatly increase the chances of you feeling happier when at work.

Now, Discover Your Strengths

Another book that can help you find happier work is Now, Discover Your Strengths. This book is based on the same research as Strengths Finder 2.0 and is basically an older version of that same text. If you happen to run across Now, Discover Your Strengths instead, you'll be happy to know that the same on-line test is made available in this book as well. The reason both books offer the same test and share similar formats is because they both come from the same research work and are both sponsored by Gallup Press.

Is Discovering My Strengths Overrated?

Focusing on your strengths is extremely important because research shows that your strengths are often intertwined with your sense of internal motivation. By tapping into your internal motivation, you greatly increase your chances of experiencing that deep sense of focus like when you're in the the zone. You know-- that feeling you have when you get lost in the enjoyment of an activity. That experience is also known as flow. Frequently experiencing flow is usually tied to enjoying a happy life. Since 11 years worth of your life will be spent at work, you had better seek a work environment or career that affords you the opportunity to experience flow on a regular basis.

Did You Just Skip to the End Without Reading the Whole Thing?

Happier work will greatly increase your chances for a happier life-- especially since work is where much of your life might be spent. But if you don't know how to go about ensuring better work for yourself, then take the time to learn from The Adventures of Johnny Bunko. After learning those six important lessons from good ol' Bunko, find out what you're really good at with Strengths Finder 2.0; Then seek out work or activities that allow you to utilize your strengths.

You'll be happy you did.
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If you haven't already done so, I invite you to read my main title post in order to better understand the purpose behind this blog. In that post, you'll find links to three TED Talks that could really impact your life in a positive way.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Free Drinks, Automobiles, and Commencement Exercises-- Woo-hoo!

My Gratitudes for Dec 5, 2013

I'm grateful for the free drink that the restaurant cashier gave me today. That was very kind of her.

I'm grateful for my (so far) reliable vehicle. By New Year's day I will have had this vehicle for a year; This vehicle has replaced my last one of 12 years. Would be better if I could enjoy it without the monthly note. Oh well . . . I suppose I should also be grateful that I can afford the note, too.

My wife's class meets only once more-- then she graduates! Woo-hoo!

Positive Event From the Last 24 Hours

I got to experience a sense of flow today at work. I felt productive and I felt like a team player today. Experiencing flow is always a positive thing.

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If you haven't already done so, I invite you to read my main title post in order to better understand the purpose behind this blog. In that post, you'll find links to three TED Talks that could really impact your life in a positive way.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

On Saftey, Super Volcanos, Technology, and Interesting Friends

My Gratitudes for Today, Dec. 4th, 2013

I'm grateful for my safety today. I saw a lot of calamity today: firetrucks in my neighborhood on my way to work-- firetrucks and paramedics racing down the interstate on my way home from work. My heart goes out to whoever suffered loss today-- where ever they may be-- while at the same time, I value the safety I have enjoyed today. One never knows how long we get to keep it.

I'm grateful for the fact that a super volcano hasn't blown it's top, changed our weather, and caused famine across a huge portion of the world. Not that it won't happen in my life time-- nonetheless, I'm grateful to not have experienced that so far within my lifetime.

I'm grateful for the level of technology we get to enjoy, regardless of the problems and ethical dilemmas technology sometimes brings with it.

I'm grateful for friends who stir and challenge my curiosity with interesting musings.


Positive Event from the Last 24 Hours

I got a chance to post again-- and on top of that, schedule a post for this coming up Friday. I feel like I'm getting more of my time back again now that my wife is about to graduate. Awesome! I'm also happy for her, too.

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If you haven't already done so, I invite you to read my main title post in order to better understand the purpose behind this blog. In that post, you'll find links to three TED Talks that could really impact your life in a positive way.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Happy (Belated) Thanksgiving

I Was Remiss

Obviously, I've had trouble making time for anything personal lately; however, I'm hoping to turn that around now. I was remiss in not expressing my gratitude here on this blog during the Thanksgiving holiday. Then again, I was out of town with no Internet access. Still, though. I really wanted to stop and post something. I should have arranged something.

Good thing it's still not too late to be thankful!


So . . . What Were You Thankful For This Thanksgiving?

I hope you took time to reflect on those things that you're grateful for this past Thanksgiving day. And in reality, expressing gratitude each day can be important to generating happiness. Consider keeping your own journal or maybe even share your sense of gratitude in the comments section.

I'm grateful for friendships and family ties which overcome time and distance. I'm grateful for my wife and her display of courage recently when she confronted a serious problem head on and made her voice heard. I'm grateful that I can look back across this year and more or less be satisfied with the overall state of my family. I'm grateful that my travels over the holiday were safe and trouble free.


New BookShare Post Coming Up

I've been sitting on a post for a while now-- but I've finally scheduled it to be published by the end of this week. I'm sharing more ideas and tips on how to add more happiness to your life. I hope you enjoy!

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If you haven't already done so, I invite you to read my main title post in order to better understand the purpose behind this blog. In that post, you'll find links to three TED Talks that could really impact your life in a positive way.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

VideoShare: The Science of Happiness

I just happened to run across this video tonight. This coincides with much of what I've been learning about and sharing concerning happiness. This is well worth your time.

Enjoy.



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If you haven't already done so, I invite you to read my main title post in order to better understand the purpose behind this blog. In that post, you'll find links to three TED Talks that could really impact your life in a positive way.

I'm Still Working Towards Happiness

Yeah, about those "Daily Gratitudes" . . .

Been a tough few weeks; I haven't had the time to blog. While I haven't documented my daily gratitudes lately, I have keep them in mind. I find that just making a mental note of what I'm grateful for that day combats frustration, angry feelings, and ill humor. And it also helps to think about positive things that have recently happened-- in the last 24 to 48 hours. Even further back than that if the event had a big enough positive impact on your mood.

For example . . .

Old Friends & Happiness

I have a really good friend that I keep up with on the other side of the world from where I live. Naturally, we mainly keep up via the Internet. My friend seemed to have fallen silent in an abrupt way. I began to worry that something rather serious happened. Turned out to be a technical issue. What a relief!

I also bumped into a really old friend in the grocery store by happenstance. I felt really great after our talk. We have made plans to catch up and not be so distant now that we realize we live close by.

I cannot deny now that-- for me at least-- keeping up with friends plays a role in my happiness. These events happened over the course of a few weeks. But even today, reflecting on them makes me feel happier.

New Friends & Happiness

Meeting new people can bring about it's risks. I shy away from making new friends because, well honestly, I can "do bad" by myself pretty well. Don't really need any help with that. But when you make a new, good friend, you are about as well off as running into an old, good friend.

Again, by happenstance, I ventured to hang around after work and ask a co-worker about one of his hobbies. The question sparked a conversation that had to be finished over hot wings and beer. We shared so much in common without ever realizing it. Now, we both feel less isolated and more connected because we shared things that we don't often get to openly express to others around us. I think that's called "venting".

Again, I cannot deny how keeping social has a positive impact on happiness. I think about our conversation still and I'm very glad that I have connected with someone new that seems to have a lot in common with me.

Challenges

While I never expect to be a master at the ultimate game, I have been practicing Go / Wei Chi / Baduk problems. I get a thrill from getting the correct answers, and I try to learn from my mistakes and strengthen my mental acumen. I have enjoyed doing this. And I confess . . . practicing Go may have kept me from blogging now and then these past few weeks.

Still working at it

I may go quite again for a while, but I'm still working at happiness. I'm still exercising, too, which is helping a lot. I'll try to get back on track with my journal after this weekend. But, if you don't hear from me-- don't assume I've given up. I'm probably off somewhere having a good time.

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If you haven't already done so, I invite you to read my main title post in order to better understand the purpose behind this blog. In that post, you'll find links to three TED Talks that could really impact your life in a positive way.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Looking Back, I like What I See

My Daily Gratitudes: 09/07/2013

A co-worker shared a few articles about writing with me. I feel like these articles have taught me a lot even if the lessons don't show up in my writing any time soon. Regardless of that, I'm grateful for the lessons and my co-worker's thoughtfulness.

After enduring a very rough Labor Day weekend, followed by a rough rest of the week, I'm very, very grateful for today being slow and easy going.

I can look back and see that more or less, I've stuck to my exercise routine and I'm seeing steady gains. My motivation is largely inspired from reading Change Anything. I'm very grateful for having a history of consistency for the past few months concerning my exercise. And again, I am grateful for having read that book.

* * *

Positive Event from the Past 24 Hours:

I enjoyed working on a future "Bookshare" post today. Writing these blog posts-- in and of themselves-- are often a positive event. The positive nature of posting here becomes quite apparent when my schedule doesn't allow me time to write a post.
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If you haven't already done so, I invite you to read my main title post in order to better understand the purpose behind this blog. In that post, you'll find links to three TED Talks that could really impact your life in a positive way.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

What's Up?

My Daily Gratitudes: 09/03/2013

I got really busy over the weekend with some projects from work. While I had plenty to be thankful for, I just didn't have time to stop and blog about it.

With that said . . .

I'm grateful that the weekend is finally over. I wouldn't normally say that as a regular Mon-Fri 8 to 5'er, but this weekend was way more labor than it was holiday.

I'm grateful for the opportunity to have recently experienced a conversation with a long time friend from the other side of the world using Whatsapp. This was the first time I actually got excited about the idea of texting.

I'm grateful for the opportunity to have set up a dhcp service for someone. While it's not hard to do, it is hard to do for the person who needs your help. I'm grateful that they had the confidence in me to ask, and that I have developed the competence to provide the service.

I'm also grateful for our exercise machine. While exercise is tough sometimes, having a machine of my own makes everything much better. I really do think I would have quit or either skipped a lot of my  schedule if I couldn't just hop onto the machine and get it done.

* * *

Positive Event from the Past 24 Hours:

I finally got to sit down and blog!

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If you haven't already done so, I invite you to read my main title post in order to better understand the purpose behind this blog. In that post, you'll find links to three TED Talks that could really impact your life in a positive way.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Wonderful Communities

My Daily Gratitudes: 08/28/2013

I'm grateful for the Open Source community that had developed in the world of computing. Without this community, much of the computing activities that we take for granted wouldn't be so easily accessible or possible, even.

I'm grateful for the people who gave rise to the wealth of historical events that brought the civil rights efforts in the 1960s largely to fruition. Sure, our nation isn't as free as it should be and not all people enjoy liberty to the same extent as others . . . but I'm sure glad we've at least made it this far.

I'm grateful the Learn to Play Go series by Janice Kim. I'm a beginner and the game seems so fun, but intimidating at the same time-- sort of like a roller coaster you want to ride, but you're afraid of it at the same time. So far, her work has made Go less frightening and more alluring for me.

* * *

Positive Event from the Past 24 Hours:

In a calm manner, I made a grievance known. Why is that positive? Because, I generally don't make grievances known. And by the time I finally do, I tend to get really upset. This time, I dealt with the issue before getting upset, rather than letting my fear turn into hate, which turns into anger-- which leads . . . well, you know where.
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If you haven't already done so, I invite you to read my main title post in order to better understand the purpose behind this blog. In that post, you'll find links to three TED Talks that could really impact your life in a positive way.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Freedom and Stability

My Daily Gratitudes: 08/27/2013

I'm grateful for the stability that we currently enjoy in the US.

I'm grateful for the extent to which African-Americans have gained civil rights-- especially as compared to 50 years ago.

I'm grateful for being able to go out and enjoy an evening out as a family. OK . . . so everybody wasn't happy, but most of us had a good time.

* * *

Positive Events from the Past 24 Hours:

Despite oversleeping, our kids still made it to the bus stop on time!
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If you haven't already done so, I invite you to read my main title post in order to better understand the purpose behind this blog. In that post, you'll find links to three TED Talks that could really impact your life in a positive way.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Good Training Goes a Long Way

My Daily Gratitudes: 08/26/2013

I'm grateful that I made some significant progress at work today on a specific project that's due at the end of this week.

I'm grateful that my wife's mood seems better today. She was down; I think she's bouncing back a bit.

I'm grateful for how the school year is going with my daughter so far. I really hope she keeps it up.

* * *

Positive Event from the Past 24 Hours:

Just before leaving work, I put in the time to use a small virtual lab that I had for other reasons. I used it to test for our project that's due this weekend. I didn't feel like doing it, but I tried it and it took a lot less time than I expected. That's what good training can do-- something I've been without until recently. I'm glad for the training that my employer provided for me. I can even see myself become more competent . . . and that makes me feel better about myself as a system administrator.
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If you haven't already done so, I invite you to read my main title post in order to better understand the purpose behind this blog. In that post, you'll find links to three TED Talks that could really impact your life in a positive way.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

The Internet: A Wonder of the World

My Daily Gratitudes: 08/25/2013

I'm grateful that I have employment and a place to live that is comfortable. No, I don't have riches or a big home, but what I have is enough and is comfortable. Upon watching a new story about "ant colonies" forming among college students in parts of China, I realized that what I have is something to be very thankful for in this day and time.

I'm grateful that my wife doesn't give up or give in to the stresses of life.

I'm grateful for the Internet: I'm still amazed at the way it can bring us entertainment, news, useful information-- all while at the same time keeping us in touch with close friends who live far way.

* * *

Positive Event from the Past 24 Hours:

I enjoyed a moment of nostalgia with my kids as we watching cartoon intros from the '80s.
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If you haven't already done so, I invite you to read my main title post in order to better understand the purpose behind this blog. In that post, you'll find links to three TED Talks that could really impact your life in a positive way.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Trust

My Daily Gratitudes: 08/24/2013

I'm grateful for the level of trust between me and my wife.

I'm grateful for my son helping me with the lawn today.

I'm grateful that I got up earlier than usual today.

* * *

Positive Event from the Past 24 Hours:

My kids played together heartily today.
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If you haven't already done so, I invite you to read my main title post in order to better understand the purpose behind this blog. In that post, you'll find links to three TED Talks that could really impact your life in a positive way.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Food, Beer, Friends

My Daily Gratitudes: 08/23/2013

I'm grateful for both the sense of humor and in depth level of conversation my co-workers express around me.

I'm grateful for friends with whom I can speak candidly.

I'm grateful to confirm that a friend of mine that I was worried about is OK.

I'm grateful my daughter remember she left her glasses at the restaurant before we got too far down the road.

* * *

Positive Events from the Past 24 Hours:

I just enjoyed food and beer today. Since today is my free day from my diet, I indulged; and it was good.
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If you haven't already done so, I invite you to read my main title post in order to better understand the purpose behind this blog. In that post, you'll find links to three TED Talks that could really impact your life in a positive way.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Fun With Friends

My Daily Gratitudes: 08/22/13

I'm grateful for having the time today to catch up with a friend and practice playing a little Go / Baduk / WeiQi. I had fun and it was nice to actually talk face to face with somebody outside of family and co-workers.

I'm grateful for the show Family Tree. I dunno . . . that lady with the talking puppet gets me rolling every time!

I'm grateful that melatonin has helped me get better sleep so that I was able to get up early every day this week so far. I even had time to exercise before work! Wow!

* * *

Positive Event from the Past 24 Hours:

I exercised before work, played Go with a friend, watched a few really funny scenes, had a lot of laughter at work today-- just had an all around good day today.
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If you haven't already done so, I invite you to read my main title post in order to better understand the purpose behind this blog. In that post, you'll find links to three TED Talks that could really impact your life in a positive way.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Daily Gratitudes Promote Happiness

My Daily Gratitudes: 08/21/2013

I'm grateful that we completed a project that was given to us yesterday, due Monday by the time our boss gets back into town-- but we completed it and showed it to him today before he even left town. Nice.

I'm grateful that my back seems to be at 100% despite the fact that I've kept exercising all along the way to my recovery. I think the newer stretches that I learned about have helped tremendously.

I'm grateful for the news my daughter had today: She's earned an A average in math so far-- last year, we thought math was going to keep her held back! I'm proud of her.

I'm grateful that when I'm in a less than happy mood, writing out my list of gratitudes for the day actually starts to make me feel better.

* * *

Positive Event from the Past 24 Hours:

Today on NPR, I heard a blurb about how too many studies are being done to compare diets against each other. The interview asked why that was the opinion of the guest on the show. I already knew the answer:

Any diet can work.

So, why the obesity issues across the whole nation, then?

I already knew that answer, too:

No diet works if you don't stick to it.

And I already knew the guest's next point-- now we need to study human behavior and find out how to get people to stick with the program.

And I think I've already found the answer to that: Change Anything.

That blurb on the radio really confirmed a lot for me. I'm glad I read that book!
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If you haven't already done so, I invite you to read my main title post in order to better understand the purpose behind this blog. In that post, you'll find links to three TED Talks that could really impact your life in a positive way.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness

My Daily Gratitudes: 08/20/2013

I'm grateful for the dinner my wife cooked tonight. It was fabulous.

I'm grateful that I was able to make it through my workout. I endured.

I'm grateful that my daughter is really getting better in math. Wow! She really amazed me with how well she did her homework tonight!

* * *

Positive Event from the Past 24 Hours:

I got to hear an interview from John Lewis on National Public Radio today. He reminded us that the March on Washington 50 years ago wasn't only about civil rights of African-Americans. Be reminded that if any group in the US can have their civil liberties squelched, then yours could very well be next. It was inspiring to hear that the fight for liberty for African-Americans is really only the beginning of a larger fight for true liberty in a so-called free country.

I was truly inspired by that sentiment.
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If you haven't already done so, I invite you to read my main title post in order to better understand the purpose behind this blog. In that post, you'll find links to three TED Talks that could really impact your life in a positive way.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Wipe Out

My Daily Gratitudes: 08/19/2013

I'm grateful that my sister-in-law's wedding is finally done and was a happy occasion overall. Her wedding is also the reason why I haven't posted for a few days. Rehearsal, wedding, photos, cleanup-- all had me wiped out!

I'm grateful for the opportunity to witness my son and daughter do something well and make me feel proud.

I'm grateful for (and to) my wife for shuttling the kids around and getting them up early in the mornings for school. I suck at that-- she takes up my slack with so much grace.

* * *

Positive Event from the Past 24 Hours:

This is actually from the past 48 hours or so . . . but it was a really nice thing to see my mom dressed so beautifully at the wedding. I also reflect on how my wife stepped up and helped take charge when no one asked-- she just saw that it needed to be done and played a major role in the wedding turning out to be really nice. And I also enjoyed watching my daughter and son play their role. During rehearsal, things weren't looking so good. But, at the wedding, they both played their roles beautifully and really made me feel proud.

And lastly-- we finally got some much needed rest yesterday.

Time to sign-off and get to my workout, and get ready for tomorrow.
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If you haven't already done so, I invite you to read my main title post in order to better understand the purpose behind this blog. In that post, you'll find links to three TED Talks that could really impact your life in a positive way.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Restoration, Preservation, and Loss

My Daily Gratitudes: 08/15/2013

I'm grateful that today was payday. Man . . .

I'm grateful that today I still have my mom. My mom's childhood friend lost her husband a few days ago. That loss really underscored how precious the time is that remains with my mom.

I'm grateful for how well my daughter's tutoring is going.

I'm grateful that my children are at home, safe.

* * *

Positive Event from the Past 24 Hours:

I got a lot of work done today . . . meaning, I fixed some things. I get a big emotional boost out of fixing something because I don't generally see myself as a "fix-it" kind of guy. Regardless, I enjoy it.
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If you haven't already done so, I invite you to read my main title post in order to better understand the purpose behind this blog. In that post, you'll find links to three TED Talks that could really impact your life in a positive way.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Not So Bad After All

My Daily Gratitudes: 08/14/2013

I'm grateful that my daughter's tutoring sessions are going well.

I'm grateful that so far, this week hasn't been as tough as I worried it would be.

I'm grateful that we found time to get my wife's car fully functional again.

* * *

Positive Event from the Past 24 Hours:

I got a really good night's sleep and woke up really early this morning. Doesn't look like I'll get to repeat that . . . but, I'm glad for last night's sleep. It was energizing.
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If you haven't already done so, I invite you to read my main title post in order to better understand the purpose behind this blog. In that post, you'll find links to three TED Talks that could really impact your life in a positive way.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Family and Friends

My Daily Gratitudes: 08/13/2013

I'm grateful that my wife catered to me when I was feeling sick.

I'm grateful that tonight my kids did their homework with no fuss, did it accurately and completely! Wow!

I'm grateful that my kids had fun playing together-- the old, fashioned way-- with toys and not i Pods and Nintendo games. They're OK, but sometimes you gotta play the old school way.

* * *

Positive Event from the Past 24 Hours:

A friend told me about Duolingo today. Looks awesome.
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If you haven't already done so, I invite you to read my main title post in order to better understand the purpose behind this blog. In that post, you'll find links to three TED Talks that could really impact your life in a positive way.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Rumbly Tummy

My Daily Gratitudes: 08/12/2013

I'm grateful that my job is easy going about taking sick days. I felt really sick to my stomach today.

I'm grateful that I had a chance to catch up on rest and try to nurse myself.

I'm grateful for my wife also doing things to tend to me while I was feeling bad.

* * *

Positive Event from the Past 24 Hours:

I had the chance to spend some quality time with my wife, just before my stomach got all nasty on me. Also, at the moment, I'm feeling a bit better now.
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If you haven't already done so, I invite you to read my main title post in order to better understand the purpose behind this blog. In that post, you'll find links to three TED Talks that could really impact your life in a positive way.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Taking It Easy

My Daily Gratitudes: 08/11/2013

I'm grateful for having some time to relax today and take it easy.

I'm grateful for the good feeling I had after finishing my workout. I got a lift from it and felt like I had won a race or something. It was a good feeling-- and I made my best time yet on my exercising machine.

I'm grateful for my wife. She's been a good companion to me through the years.

* * *

Positive Event from the Last 24 Hours:

Rest.
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If you haven't already done so, I invite you to read my main title post in order to better understand the purpose behind this blog. In that post, you'll find links to three TED Talks that could really impact your life in a positive way.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Whew!

My Daily Gratitudes: 08/10/2013

Yeah . . . I missed posting yesterday. Long day, didn't get a chance to blog. I hit the sack early and quite honestly, didn't feel too grateful for much of anything, though I had plenty to feel grateful for had I taken the time to think about it.

Today-- slightly different story.

I'm grateful that my wife finally got her party planning done and that party she helped put together is finally in progress and probably wrapping up by now. I'm glad the stress of preparation has finally passed.

I'm grateful that my mom came through for me again in many big ways.

I'm grateful that I found time to workout. My chances for finding time to workout was looking slim at first, but I squeezed in my routine. And, I actually had a desire to do it, too. I'm grateful for that. It really helps when you feel like it.

* * *

Positive Event from the Past 24 Hours:

Even though it was a lot of work, I know my wife was happy that I took the time out to help her decorate for the party she had for his sister. A lot of people promised to help her, but few actually pitched in.

Also, it was good that I got up before noon today. I felt good getting up earlier today. I felt like I actually used my day rather than slumbering it away due to my (self-diagnosed) delayed sleep phase disorder.
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If you haven't already done so, I invite you to read my main title post in order to better understand the purpose behind this blog. In that post, you'll find links to three TED Talks that could really impact your life in a positive way.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Belt Loops

My Daily Gratitudes: 08/08/2013

I'm grateful that one of the other sysadmins volunteered for maintenance tonight.

I'm grateful that my wife's account class is over.

I'm grateful that tomorrow is Friday!

* * *

Positive Event from the Past 24 Hours:

This has been a hard week with school kicking in. Admittedly, I've found myself feeling grouchy at times or angry. But, so far, when I sit down to reflect on good things that have happened and exercise my stress away (rather than punching someone) I feel much better.

Today-- the positive thing that happened was . . . I had to pull my belt tighter than normal to keep my pants up. Yup. I'm making progress that not even the scale can argue with.
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If you haven't already done so, I invite you to read my main title post in order to better understand the purpose behind this blog. In that post, you'll find links to three TED Talks that could really impact your life in a positive way.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Sour Moods Pass

My Daily Gratitudes: 08/07/2013

I'm grateful that my sour mood from yesterday has passed. I woke up today and felt really good. I guess I just needed some extra rest.

I'm grateful that I was able take it easy today and get my exercising out of the way.

I'm grateful that my kids both had a good day at school despite not feeling ready to start a new school year.

* * *

Positive Event from the Past 24 Hours:

I felt really charged both before and after my workout. I got some things done that I've been putting off. I feel better about tackling this school year.
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If you haven't already done so, I invite you to read my main title post in order to better understand the purpose behind this blog. In that post, you'll find links to three TED Talks that could really impact your life in a positive way.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Stress and Happiness

My Daily Gratitude: 08/06/2013

I'm grateful for the way exercise can alleviate stress.

I'm grateful that today wasn't any worse than it could have been.

I'm grateful for the resilience of the human will.

* * *

Positive Event from the Past 24 Hours:

Embracing happiness wasn't easy today. School is starting for the kids and my wife is finishing up a really stressful class. The difficulty level of our schedule as a family seems to double when school starts and thinking about it gets me down a bit.

Having gotten that off my chest-- a positive thing that happened today was that I had a few really in depth, interesting conversations with two co-workers. I got a few complements today on my helpfulness for various sources and I exercised today despite all the reasons not to do so.

And as it seems to be the case, I sometimes don't feel like posting these things when I log in, but by the time I'm finished-- I find myself feeling a little bit better. This stuff might really work.
--
If you haven't already done so, I invite you to read my main title post in order to better understand the purpose behind this blog. In that post, you'll find links to three TED Talks that could really impact your life in a positive way.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Honesty

My Daily Gratitudes: 08/05/2013

I'll be honest; Today, I don't feel quite so happy. But, that doesn't mean I can't still be grateful . . . so here it goes:

I'm grateful that my mom sounded happy when I called her today. There was a bit of cheer behind her voice. That was nice to hear.

I'm grateful that the office has gotten a bit quieter. We've had some personnel changes just recently. A lot of the goofing off looks like it will come to an end.

I'm grateful that my stomach stopped hurting this morning. I don't know what it was, but something I ate decided to disagree with me this morning.

* * *

Positive Event from the Past 24 Hours:

I made it through my workout. Man, it was tough. I raised the bar a bit on my routine. I made it though.

Also, I got a little talk time with my wife. She's been really busy lately. Taking the time to talk was good to do.

Well . . . Now that I've reflected on all that, I feel a little bit better now. Maybe instead of venting over all the negative things, we should spend more time pointing out the positive things.

Hmmmm . . . .
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If you haven't already done so, I invite you to read my main title post in order to better understand the purpose behind this blog. In that post, you'll find links to three TED Talks that could really impact your life in a positive way.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

A Little Girl and Her Teddy Bear

My Daily Gratitudes for 08/04/2013

I'm grateful for the opportunity to see my daughter's excitement at Build-A-Bear today.

I'm grateful for my son's sense of humor.

I'm grateful that I got most of my errands done for this weekend-- which also included grocery shopping for my mom.

* * *

Positive Event from the Past 24 Hours:

Watching my daughter have so much fun with her bear-- and seeing my wife come home and play with her and the new bear before I ran off to get my mom's groceries.
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If you haven't already done so, I invite you to read my main title post in order to better understand the purpose behind this blog. In that post, you'll find links to three TED Talks that could really impact your life in a positive way.

DocuShare: Happy

I recently ran across a documentary entitled Happy-- which coincides with the main theme of this blog perfectly.

As for me, I watched this excellent film via Netflix instant streaming. However, the homepage for the documentary provides a way to rent the film in case you don't have any other means of access. They also offer the DVD for purchase as well, if you're so inclined.

This documentary explores the many facets of happiness through examining people from various walks of life along with interviewing researchers about their findings concerning happiness. The film goes in depth as the producers go searching for the necessary ingredients to live happy.

Anyone seeking to increase his or her happiness needs to watch this film.

Happy challenges the common notions we generally have about the basic requirements for a life filled with happiness. The idea of what success is and the true impact that money has on happiness is also explored in an insightful way during this film. Phenomena such as the Hedonic treadmill, the impact of gratitude, genetic disposition, adversity and trauma, societal bonds and living conditions are all taken into account as the requirements for happiness are closely investigated. How do these elements truly impact our happiness? The answers to these questions are very important to consider because a lifetime of groping for happiness in the wrong places can lead to a very miserable life!

This film uncovers the fact that research repeatedly demonstrates that experiences such as "flow", having a sense of purpose, a sense of social connectedness, physical activity, and being true to one's self are needful for maintaining long term happiness. These ingredients seem to transcend the more common notions we hold for happiness such as possessing vast sums of money, having the appearance of success, material possessions, or having a problem free life.

And during the film, one of the scientists suggested that happiness may very well be a skill that we all can learn and hone.

And . . . that's why you should watch the film Happy. Find out what it takes to learn the skill of happiness. Discover in your own time what works for you and create your own plan for happiness. Watch this film and get a better sense of what you need for your life to be completely and truly happy.
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If you haven't already done so, I invite you to read my main title post in order to better understand the purpose behind this blog. In that post, you'll find links to three TED Talks that could really impact your life in a positive way.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Gratitude Alleviates Sour Moods

My Daily Gratitudes: 08/03/2013

I'm grateful that my daughter kept her composure when she realized we couldn't make it to the mall today (as promised) so she could buy that bear she saved up for. She responded with a great amount of maturity when considering how excited she was before her letdown. We're going to make sure we take her tomorrow.

I'm grateful for having my mom to help us out when we get blindsided by unexpected financial issues.

I'm grateful that I finally found the time to get my technical difficulties behind me from yesterday.

* * *
Positive Event from the Past 24 Hours:

I'd have to say the most positive thing is posting this blog. I was actually in a bit of a sour mood (going through all your bills and and fiscal "gotchas" can be a bit of a downer). The act of thinking about what you're grateful for and documenting it seems to gradual lift the mood. I needed that.

Oh, and I found some new car insurance since my last policy provider (of over 15 years) dropped me.
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If you haven't already done so, I invite you to read my main title post in order to better understand the purpose behind this blog. In that post, you'll find links to three TED Talks that could really impact your life in a positive way.

Technical Difficulties . . .

This post was meant to be my Daily Gratitudes Post for 08/02/03. I got blindsided by some work related technical issues and I didn't get the change to post before midnight. Nonetheless, my Daily Gratitudes for 08/02/03 are:

1. I'm grateful for our media and free speech. Yeah, our media can get carried away a lot with some really stupid things. But, when they do things like expose fraud and hold State and Federal governments accountable, I'm well pleased.

2. I'm grateful that it was a really fun, easy going Friday until my unexpected problem started. It has dampened my happy buzz somewhat because I may have to go check some things-- which means leaving home, heading out just when I was about to go to bed. But, that's OK. I know I'll get my happy buzz back. In due time. I'm grateful I had it for when I did, today.

3. I'm grateful for having access to the music I love. Listening to my favorite songs can really lift my spirits.

* * *
Positive Event from the Past 24 Hours:

I'm still keeping that laundry under control. I washed some smaller loads and I've been keeping it under control. That has gone a long way towards keeping my living space ordered and has kept stress down. I'm really glad about that.
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If you haven't already done so, I invite you to read my main title post in order to better understand the purpose behind this blog. In that post, you'll find links to three TED Talks that could really impact your life in a positive way.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Happy Just to be Alive

My Daily Gratitudes: 08/01/2013

I'm grateful for being able to get my wife's car to work again. It was just an old battery. I got it tested, bought a new one, and installed it in the battery tray. I bolted it down, attached the terminals-- voilĂ , it cranks!

I'm grateful to have had the experience of a super fresh, wonderful cup of coffee today from a new coffee shop that just opened up. The building had the promise of opening soon, but was always vacant. My daughter pointed out there were finally some people inside as I passed by. How thoughtful of her to point it out as we passed by!

I'm grateful for our exercise machine. It has made squeezing in my workouts into my schedule so much easier. I worried it would become a coat hanger, but so far it has been essential to my weight loss goals and my happiness experiment.

* * *

Positive Event from the Past 24 Hours

Just having a good laugh today with family and friends. Feeling lighthearted enough to act silly and generate laughter. Sometimes stress dampens our ability to just enjoy life and laugh. On several occasions today, I laughed and made others laugh while riding around town trying to get everything I needed to replace the car battery-- and that has made the day much, much better. That feeling of lightheartedness made me glad just to be alive.
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If you haven't already done so, I invite you to read my main title post in order to better understand the purpose behind this blog. In that post, you'll find links to three TED Talks that could really impact your life in a positive way.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Could Be Worse: Gratitude in the Face of Adversity

My Daily Gratitudes: 07/31/2013

I'm grateful that today is payday.

I'm grateful that my wife's car isn't any worse off than it is. It wouldn't start today-- but I think I've narrowed it down to an old battery. I'll take that over the alternative being something like the alternator, water pump, or oh . . . I dunno . . . a locked up engine.

I'm grateful for being able to eat lunch with my wife today. Since we had to ride together today, lunch just felt like the right thing to do. The time together was nice.

* * *

Positive Event from the past 24 Hours:

I had a good work day today. I got a lot done and I was in the zone some today. I felt like I was "rockn' an' rollin' all day. Another positive thing is that I've determined to exercise after I post. Yeah, it's late, but I had to troubleshoot the car, feed the kids, and give my wife time to study. I really want to just crash-- but I gotta keep up the habit of working out. I've determined to do it tonight-- and I think in the long run that's a positive thing.
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If you haven't already done so, I invite you to read my main title post in order to better understand the purpose behind this blog. In that post, you'll find links to three TED Talks that could really impact your life in a positive way.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

An Easy Going Day, and a Night Owl Actually Get's a Little Sleepy

My Daily Gratitudes: 07/30/2013

I'm grateful for having a fairly smooth day at work. I had to replace a mail server and restore the new server from a backup config. Worked well.

I'm grateful for that crossover cable always hanging around in my laptop bag.

I'm grateful for being able to spend the evening with my family and celebrate my son's birthday tonight. We'll celebrate it some this weekend, too.

* * *

Positive Event from the Past 24 Hours:

I got some good sleep last night. I felt great this morning. But, now I'm very, very sleepy. Time to sign off and hit the sack. But, being sleeping is positive too, for me, since usually I can't fall off to sleep very well before midnight.
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If you haven't already done so, I invite you to read my main title post in order to better understand the purpose behind this blog. In that post, you'll find links to three TED Talks that could really impact your life in a positive way.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Still Clutter Free; Now a Chance to Catch Up on Some Rest

My Daily Gratitudes: 07/29/2013

I'm grateful that my house is still clutter free so far. I'm really enjoying that.

I'm grateful that my back was nearly pain free today. What a relief that was!

I'm grateful for coming across some really great resources over the years. I'm grateful for having come across the books and videos that have changed my life in a positive way.

* * *

Positive Event from the Past 24 Hours:

Despite having little sleep, I made it through the work day effortlessly. Now, it's not quite 22:15. I think I can hit the sack and catch up on some much needed rest.
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If you haven't already done so, I invite you to read my main title post in order to better understand the purpose behind this blog. In that post, you'll find links to three TED Talks that could really impact your life in a positive way.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Relaxing, Purple Circles

My Daily Gratitudes: 07/28/2013

I'm grateful that my wife found a new hobby that seems to make her feel relaxed. She's working on a craft where she's stitching purple, paper circles together in a stream-- a dot garland. They're very beautiful and I think she really enjoys doing it. She seems to have found an activity that gives her a sense of flow or that puts her in the zone. Studies show that people who often engage in activities that produce a state of flow are happier than people who don't get to experience flow as often. More about that in a future post . . .

I'm grateful for the overall, relaxing evening I got to enjoy today.

I'm grateful that I had time to work on some future posts for this blog.

I'm really grateful that today my laundry only consisted of two small loads! Awesome!

* * *

Positive Event from the Past 24 hours:

Though my back isn't 100%, I was able to do my cardiovascular exercises today. My back is more, or less the same since exercising. I'm glad about that. And . . . my son mowed the front lawn and did a nice job.

And I got to sit on the couch.  Heh, heh . . .
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If you haven't already done so, I invite you to read my main title post in order to better understand the purpose behind this blog. In that post, you'll find links to three TED Talks that could really impact your life in a positive way.

Time to be Happy

If happiness is a skill, then learning that skill can take time. Do you have time to be happy?

I've noticed that exercise has really given me an energy boost lately. I have energy for chores that I would normally avoid. Once I get the chores done, I feel like I have more free time to enjoy for myself.

I've also found that extra energy keeps me from waisting time from just lying around in general. Rather than just remaining sedentary and unproductive, I move around more and look for things to do. Just by having a little more energy, I gain more time. And by having more time, I can do things I enjoy more often.

OK. Chores don't count when it comes to things I enjoy. But even getting chores done have a positive impact towards having more time.

But wouldn't I have even more free time if I just don't do any chores at all and use the extra energy for something more fun?

Not necessarily. Important (but dull) chores like laundry, dishes, and organizing your living space save you time in the long run. However, if you don't have the energy for it, you tend to let these things pile up. The stress from all that disorder in your living space compounds your sense of fatigue and can darken your overall mood.

If you're tired and feel like you never have time to do the necessary things, then perhaps the solution is that you need to dedicate time for pursuing happiness.

Start your pursuit by taking on an exercise routine that is right for you. Then, take that extra energy and re-invest it into making your living space clutter free and clean. Make time for exercise and make changes to your routine or living space that will make exercising easier to achieve. Once that's done, you may find that cleaning house will lift your mood even though housework can be an activity many people avoid or loath. I've come to notice that the mood of each family member in my home improves when our house is clean. To me-- such results are worth the drudgery of cleaning house. Besides, once you've got the worst behind you, maintenance will become easier and easier.

To me, exercise is an important tool for achieving happiness. Physical activity not only increases dopamine levels which lift your mood, but give you the energy to do more than you normally would when compared to a sedentary lifestyle. Just having more time should make you a little more happy. Now compound that benefit by using that extra time to further hone the skill of happiness.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Just Hanging Out

My Daily Gratitudes: 07/27/2013

I'm grateful for having a lot of downtime today. Today, I just basically sat around and chilled out after exercising. Nice.

I'm grateful that our family gets along overall. Having that is underrated.

I'm grateful for my wife's love.

* * *

Positive Event from the past 24 hours:

Today was my free day to eat something outside of my eating plan. I got a few donuts with the kids. Krispy Kremes rock! My daughter ate one and said: You can always count on Krispy Kreme to make the day a happy one!

I agree.
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If you haven't already done so, I invite you to read my main title post in order to better understand the purpose behind this blog. In that post, you'll find links to three TED Talks that could really impact your life in a positive way.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Happy SysAdmin Day

My Daily Gratitudes: 07/26/2013

I'm grateful to have a stable job.

I'm grateful for great co-workers who have great ideas and don't mind sharing them with me and working together with me.

I'm grateful that someone saw the benefit of having a SysAdmin day. Sure, nobody really celebrates it in my locality, but reflecting on this self-imposed holiday makes me feel good about myself and what I do for a living. I've come to realize that being a SysAdmin is something important even though it can be thankless at times. However, the job is not always thankless and I feel like I do get to help people in this field (more than one might think). I have developed competency in this field and I can do it well now (I wasn't aways good at it). Now, I've grown to enjoy being one and I really enjoy this career. I'm happy and grateful that I fell into this line of work-- it's not what I ever set out to be after college.

* * *

Positive Event from the Past 24 Hours:

I had a few moments to just sit back and enjoy quite tranquility after the office cleared out. I like quite.

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If you haven't already done so, I invite you to read my main title post in order to better understand the purpose behind this blog. In that post, you'll find links to three TED Talks that could really impact your life in a positive way.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Quiet Time, Invaluable Tutalage, and Friendly Teleamarketers

My Daily Gratitude: 07/25/2013

I'm grateful for that quiet time after the office has cleared out and only two or three people are hanging around to work late. While I don't like staying late after work, that seems to be the most quiet time of the day.

I'm grateful the past RedHat training and local mentors that have helped honed my troubleshooting skills over the years. Someone came to me with a really confusing problem today. I could clearly see how all that learning from my past mentors and training paid off when I was able to quickly and easily find the solution. Good teachers are golden!

I'm grateful that my back is feeling even better today than yesterday. I'm not 100%, but I feel close. The temporary rest from exercise and the stretching has been extremely helpful. I hope to get back on my routine this weekend because I think my back will be fine by then.

* * *

Positive Event from the Past 24 Hours:

A sales person called me today. While I was genuinely interested in their pitch, I couldn't talk. Rather than badger me over the phone, they politely agreed to call me back later.

When later came, the phone rang. I almost didn't answer . . . but I remembered how easy going they were and that I did request that they call back. I answered and they were very pleasant. I really appreciated that. I'm not one to hang up on people, so I have a hard time when someone calls me and gets aggressive with me over the phone trying to sell something.

Like my mom always told me-- you'll catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.

I know, I know. We're not trying to catch flies. But, you get the point.
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If you haven't already done so, I invite you to read my main title post in order to better understand the purpose behind this blog. In that post, you'll find links to three TED Talks that could really impact your life in a positive way.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Home Sweet Home

My Daily Gratitudes: 07/24/2013

I'm grateful for the comfort of my own home. Now that I've caught up on some cleaning, home is more relaxing lately.

While I don't enjoy any amount of back pain, I'm grateful that stretching again tonight has really helped my back feel even better.

I'm grateful that my wife brought home dinner tonight.

* * *

Positive Event from the Past 24 Hours:

Disk two of Life in Cold Blood came in. I popped it in and the kids stopped doing whatever it was they were doing and ran in to watch it with me. I like that they are captivated by something educational.
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If you haven't already done so, I invite you to read my main title post in order to better understand the purpose behind this blog. In that post, you'll find links to three TED Talks that could really impact your life in a positive way.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Stretching, Cleaning, and Old Friends

My Daily Gratitude: 07/23/2013

I'm grateful for the stretch technique I read about for my lower back. It works wonders!

I'm also grateful that my back isn't hurting as much as it could. I've felt worse before. I'm glad I'm not dealing with that kind of pain.

I'm grateful for the fact that my wife found the courage to workout today. I'm glad about that.

I'm grateful for my kids: my son's sense of humor and maturity, and my daughter's creativity and loving-kindness.

* * *

Positive Event from the past 24 hours:

I heard from a few old friends via e-mail. And I got my kitchen cleaned up and back in order tonight.
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If you haven't already done so, I invite you to read my main title post in order to better understand the purpose behind this blog. In that post, you'll find links to three TED Talks that could really impact your life in a positive way.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Kind Employers allow Employees to Take Care of Familly Needs

My Daily Gratitudes: 07/22/2013

I'm grateful that my employer gave me time to tend to some sudden needs that came up with my mom.

I'm grateful that I had some time to spend with my family today.

I'm grateful for the level of stability we have in the United States. How long will we keep it? I dunno. I'm glad it's here today, though.

* * *

Positive Event from the last 24 hours:

My mom got her plumbing in her house fixed today. Also, my wife and I got down on the floor and played with our kids.


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If you haven't already done so, I invite you to read my main title post in order to better understand the purpose behind this blog. In that post, you'll find links to three TED Talks that could really impact your life in a positive way.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Peanut Butter on Bread and an Empty Laundry Basket

My Daily Gratitudes: 07/21/2013

I'm grateful for the opportunity to visit with my mom today.

I'm grateful for the arthritis cream she gave me for my lower back. It really seemed to help. My lower back has been aching for a few days.

I'm grateful for having the means to eat a few decent meals throughout the day. Not everyone gets to have that and I recognize that I'm fortunate to have that.

* * *

Positive Event from the past 24 Hours:

A few things:

1. Finally finished watching a documentary about guess what?! Happiness. I hope to share more about it in an upcoming post.

2. My daughter tried to make us breakfast in bed (again).

3. I completed my workout despite having reservations at first. Even made my best time so far.

4. My son helped cook dinner.

5. My laundry basket is virtually empty!
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If you haven't already done so, I invite you to read my main title post in order to better understand the purpose behind this blog. In that post, you'll find links to three TED Talks that could really impact your life in a positive way.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Laundry, Lizards and Life; A Little Gaming, Too.

My Daily Gratitudes: 07/20/2013

I'm grateful for the time off I had today. I used it to catch up on my backlog of laundry and some much needed house cleaning.

I'm grateful for the fact that Netflix recommended Life in Cold Blood to me. I watched a lot of it while doing laundry. I'm glad to have been exposed to so much information. Watching lizards gives me so many insights about my own life. Very interesting.

I'm grateful for my life and that I'm not some other animal's dinner.

* * *

Positive Events from the Past 24 Hours:

My son accused his sister of deleting a character profile on a video game where he spent a lot of time building his character. My daughter felt sure she hadn't done it and if she had, it was only an honest mistake.

I was tempted to have her profile deleted so she could know how it feels, but then, I thought better of it. Maybe my son was in the wrong instead.

Sure enough, we double-checked. His profile was there all along-- he just overlooked it at first.

I'm really glad I didn't over react. That would have been so unfair to my daughter.
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If you haven't already done so, I invite you to read my main title post in order to better understand the purpose behind this blog. In that post, you'll find links to three TED Talks that could really impact your life in a positive way.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Doctor Visits, Work, and Cold Blooded Animals

My Daily Gratitudes: 07/19/2013

I'm grateful that my job will let me run my children to the doctor with little notice and no fuss.

I'm grateful that the reason for taking my son to the doctor turned out to NOT be serious like we thought before taking him.

I'm grateful that my daughter is finally starting to enjoy riding her bike. She had some trouble learning, but now she's starting to really like it. We're still a bit shaky, though.

I'm also grateful that my wife's doctor's visit didn't turn up anything too serious as well.

I'm grateful that I got a lot of work done this week.

* * *
Positive Event from the last 24 hours:

I popped in a DVD of a documentary series titled Life in Cold Blood. Very cool. Even cooler-- I looked up and the whole family was transfixed at one point. Each one wandered over and started watching. It was neat to share in the amazement of what reptiles and amphibians can do and how they live so differently simply because their blood is controlled by their environment and not internally.


--
If you haven't already done so, I invite you to read my main title post in order to better understand the purpose behind this blog. In that post, you'll find links to three TED Talks that could really impact your life in a positive way.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Yeah.

My Daily Gratitudes: 07/18/2013

I'm grateful for my former supervisor dropping in to visit the office and taking time to pull me aside for a short chat. Talking with him always proves invaluable.

I'm grateful for my co-workers thinking of me at lunch time and inviting me along. I enjoyed hanging out with them today.

I'm grateful (once again) for the impact that the book Change Anything is having on my life. I told my wife about it and what I'm doing as a result. Today, when I get home, I saw evidence that she had exercised today. And this time, I have a feeling she'll be able to maintain her routine. I'm so glad to see that!

And guess who introduced me to Change Anything? My supervisor that I mentioned above. Like I said, talking to that guy is always invaluable!

* * *

Positive Event from the past 24 hours:

I crushed my workout, today. Yeah. Man, I was in the zone today.
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If you haven't already done so, I invite you to read my main title post in order to better understand the purpose behind this blog. In that post, you'll find links to three TED Talks that could really impact your life in a positive way.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Good Job, Dad . . .

My Daily Gratitudes: 07/17/2013

I'm grateful for the way my son told me, "Good job, Dad" after I finished my workout. I think he could tell I really wanted to be doing something else. But, when he slipped that one in on me, I felt really good. He's watching. I made the right choice and he noticed (and complimented me on it. His manners surprise me sometimes!)

I'm grateful for the time I had to talk with my wife today about making improvements for our lives. We're planning together. I think we're about to shake things up together (in a positive way, that is).

I'm grateful that my after-hours server maintenance completed before midnight. Whether or not it's problem-free depends on when the end-users test it tomorrow. Looks good so far . . .

* * *
Positive Event from the past 24 hours:

Today, I could really feel the results of the time management strategies I from the book Time Management for System Administrators. If you're a SysAdmin, you need this book.
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If you haven't already done so, I invite you to read my main title post in order to better understand the purpose behind this blog. In that post, you'll find links to three TED Talks that could really impact your life in a positive way.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Quiet Cubicles, Home Cooking, and Toughing It Out

My Daily Gratitudes: 07/16/2013

I'm grateful for the fact that I was the only one in my four-person cubicle today. So quiet; Man . . . I got so much done.

Mom made dinner for us tonight unexpectedly. I'm really grateful for that.

I did my workout tonight. I really, really didn't want to. But, I'm thankful for the tips in Change Anything that encouraged me to do it anyhow. I'm also thankful for that second wind I got just past the middle of my workout, just when I thought I'd give up early.

* * *

Positive Event from the past 24 hours:

My wife was working on her paper and something important came up and distracted her. Her laptop battery died and she thought she lost her work. She called me, really bummed out, but then she found a way to recover the paper as she was expressing her concern. What a relief!
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If you haven't already done so, I invite you to read my main title post in order to better understand the purpose behind this blog. In that post, you'll find links to three TED Talks that could really impact your life in a positive way.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Feeling Good

My Daily Gratitudes: 07/15/2013

I'm grateful for the feeling I had when I woke up this morning. I woke up today and I felt great starting out. I had some pep in my step when I went off to work today. I liked that and I value that.

I'm grateful that I could be helpful at work today.

I'm grateful that I could be helpful at home for my wife this evening.

I'm grateful that I had time to come home over lunch and enjoy a meal and take it easy before heading back to work.


* * *

Positive Event from the past 24 hours:

I had a nice time with my wife last night on our little date. Yeah, the movie sucked, but we had a good time just being together. I felt really good most of the day. I wish I could bottle that feeling and sell it!

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If you haven't already done so, I invite you to read my main title post in order to better understand the purpose behind this blog. In that post, you'll find links to three TED Talks that could really impact your life in a positive way.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Date Night Looks Possible Tonight

My Daily Gratitudes: 07/14/2013

I'm grateful that my children are safe. I reflect upon the high profile case that involved the State of Florida against George Zimmerman and I think about my family's safety. I imagine a lot of moms hugged their children tight last night and silently wished that their children never end up in such a terrible situation. My heart goes out to both families involved in that case. All around, it was a very unfortunate chain of events. I hope some positive social change comes out of that event. The first step is to remember that no person or group is exempt from the need for deep, self examination. After we do that, the members of all racial groups need to work to discontinue stereotyping each other-- and themselves as well.

I'm grateful that I was able to get up before the afternoon again. I got up around 10:00 AM. Not as good as yesterday, but way better than what I normally do. And to top it off-- I had forgotten to take my melatonin on time. So, I had to skip it. That makes getting up a 10:00 AM a bit more impressive.

I'm grateful that my mom will keep the kids tonight so my wife and I can catch a movie. Thanks, mom!

* * *

Positive Event from the last 24 hours:

I got my kids to put away their laundry and I got caught up on the dishes. I also got my workout done early in the day and I've got chill time until we get ready to go to the movies. I guess I can take the kids out somewhere in the meanwhile . . . just to get them out of the house walking around.

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If you haven't already done so, I invite you to read my main title post in order to better understand the purpose behind this blog. In that post, you'll find links to three TED Talks that could really impact your life in a positive way.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Health and Happiness

I've noticed a correlation between the Gallup poll's well-being index and obesity trends in the United States. States that have the highest obesity rates tend to have the lowest well-being index when compared to other states in the Union.

Hmmmm . . .

Correlation doesn't always prove causation; however, I'm personally convinced that obesity can negatively impact the quality of happiness that one can have. Happiness is still possible for obese people, but I think the quality of happiness is probably diminished and having happiness in the long term could be more of a challenge when obesity related diseases start to set in later in life.

These same regions which are suffering from a lower sense of well-being and obesity also seem to be less vibrant financially. All these factors include lower life expectancy when compared with other areas that have higher well-being ratings.

Fighting obesity and managing your physical health is vital to maintaining overall happiness. With this new realization (for me, anyhow), I feel even more committed to my recent restart of my personal exercise program. Happiness will be easier to maintain in my life if I get (and keep) my weight under control. I've yo-yo'ed a lot over the years. But, I've noticed from that experience that I'm at my best when I'm working out; even if I still hadn't gotten out of the obesity weight range. I tend to have more energy and I feel better. I get more done and doing important tasks that I generally dislike get easier tackle. So, I'm convinced now that keeping our bodies in good, healthy shape is paramount to well-being.

If you struggle with weight-- as I do-- I'd like to encourage you to focus more on forming the habit of exercise and diet, rather than focusing on a dress size, pants size, body shape, or body weight. Those things are not your proof of success. You know you're successful only when you look back over the last 24 hours and you can say with honesty that you exercised (provided you weren't too sore from your last work-out, or injured, sick, or dealing with a recent traumatic event). Make that fact your goal above anything else. Don't entertain guilty feelings for missing a target weight after a month of exercise. Don't feel defeated for past failures of stopping and starting a routine over and over again. Forget that fact that you haven't been to the gym in 18 months and gained all of your weight back plus some.

Just focus on the last 24 hours: Did you exercise? Yes?

Success!

Now . . . do it again tomorrow (unless it's a scheduled rest day or maybe you're too sore from yesterday's workout. We do need rest from exercise from time to time. Don't over do it-- that's the extreme opposite of not working out at all).

Did you not exercise? Explore what is preventing you from getting started and take away all those excuses. Read Change Anything if you feel stuck, or find some other inspirational book to help you get going. The main thing is-- start the habit. Don't fear failure; turn failure into your ally and conquer your weight issues so that you can seize one of the essential ingredients for making happiness.

Do it; You deserve it.

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If you haven't already done so, I invite you to read my main title post in order to better understand the purpose behind this blog. In that post, you'll find links to three TED Talks that could really impact your life in a positive way.

A DSPD Sufferer Rises Early and Wins Some Quiet Time with Spouse

My Daily Gratitudes: 07/13/2013

I'm grateful that I was out of bed by 08:30. For me-- on a Saturday-- that's a great accomplishment. Melatonin rocks. (if you actually get around to taking the stuff . . .)

I'm grateful that my wife went to the store today and offered to cook breakfast. She works at least as hard as I do plus school, so we're very fortunate that she's so willing to put the energy in fixing the family hot meals.

I'm also grateful that my wife seems to be doing really well in her accounting class. She seems to like it some, too. I'm happy about that.

Positive Event from the last 24 hours:

Two things so far-- I'm enjoying looking out my window at the green grass and realizing that I don't have to cut it this weekend. I did that last week. It looks so nice and neat.

I enjoyed spending time with my wife this morning. Before the kids woke up, we had some time together. Kids are wonderful, but they really do take up that alone time you were used to having with your mate before kids come along. Something as simple as a short conversation is a challenge when kids are around. So, to have a quiet moment to talk uninterrupted for a bit was really nice.
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If you haven't already done so, I invite you to read my main title post in order to better understand the purpose behind this blog. In that post, you'll find links to three TED Talks that could really impact your life in a positive way.

Friday, July 12, 2013

An Act of Kindness

My Daily Gratitudes: 07/12/2013

I'm grateful for finally figuring out how to get Active Directory and ownCloud to play together. I felt like I won first place in a race!

I'm grateful for the picture my daughter drew for me and gave me before I rushed off to work. When I finally stopped to look at it, it really made me smile.

I'm grateful for my mom keeping our kids during the summer when my wife and I are at work. I don't know what else we'd do.

* * *

Positive event from the past 24 hours:

Since I worked out every day this week-- today is my rest day and free day to eat whatever I want. I enjoyed a hamburger and fries at one of my favorite burger joints. I eat there so much that all their faces are familiar to me, even though I don't know their names. One of those employees who seemed to be on break looked a bit distressed and eventually approached me and the kids (my wife was out with friends). I thought she was going to ask us if we wanted refills. Instead, she asked if we were headed in her direction. I guess my face was familiar to her as well.

I thought about the prospect that random acts of kindness can help one towards happiness. Shaking hands build trust and social networks help make us feel better. I almost said no, but then I put myself in her shoes and remembered having similar challenges in my life. She was a long way from home.

We finished our meal and took her home. She introduced herself and we shook hands. We talked and the kids talked, too.

I'm glad I did it. Not for the points, or a star in a crown, or even for my own happiness' sake. I'm glad to have helped another fellow human in their time of need. And for some reason, that makes me feel good, in and of itself.

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If you haven't already done so, I invite you to read my main title post in order to better understand the purpose behind this blog. In that post, you'll find links to three TED Talks that could really impact your life in a positive way.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Safely Home and Aurora Lights on Other Worlds

My Daily Gratitudes: 07/11/2013

I'm grateful that I completed my main task on my to-do list today. The completion was urgent and required the help of several people. I'm grateful also for their cooperativeness, which made the prospect of completing this task a success.

I'm grateful that things are "normal" for me today. I thought of moments like when we had hurricane Katrina roll though where I live some time back and we had long lines for grocery and gasoline for our cars, no power, and no end in sight. I thought of that today when listening to how things are in Egypt lately. Things look slightly better it seems, since their president was ousted, but still not fully functional over there.

I'm grateful that my family came home safely today. They came home late; it made me think on what life would be like if today, something bad had happened to them. I'm glad no such thing happened today.

***

Positive Event from the Last 24 Hours:

For a few seconds, I soaked in a photo of Saturn's aurora lights at one of it's poles taken by a probe. The image fills me with wonder and awe. I can't explain why, but I feel fully engaged when I think about how Saturn has aurora lights just like here on Earth. Neat-o.

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If you haven't already done so, I invite you to read my main title post in order to better understand the purpose behind this blog. In that post, you'll find links to three TED Talks that could really impact your life in a positive way.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

So . . . Google Really Was Down Today Just for a Bit

My Daily Gratitudes for 07/10/2013:

I was grateful (and relieved) to find this morning that my DNS servers had nothing to do with the reason why nobody at our office could reach Google. I'm not saying I was happy that Google was down, just glad to know that Google's inaccessibility had nothing to do with my DNS servers-- like every one suspected at first. I feel validated.

I am grateful for the vendor who took us out to lunch today to a really nice restaurant. He was also very gracious in the level of support he offered. His customer service and salesmanship stands out.

I am grateful for air conditioning, because man-- it's hot out there!

***

Positive Event from the past 24 Hours:

My kids are quite talkative. While that may seem nerve-racking at times, it also means that the lines of communication are open and they care what we think. I'm glad to know that (at least for now) my kids talk to us and still look up to us as their parents. My son and daughter told me about their day today-- the programs they watch, the pictures they draw. That means a lot.


If you haven't already done so, I invite you to read my main title post in order to better understand the purpose behind this blog. In that post, you'll find links to three TED Talks that could really impact your life in a positive way.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Walking, Work-outs, and Hubble Deep Field Images

My Daily Gratitudes: 07/09/2013

I'm grateful for having transportation. When I think of all the places I have to be, I'd never make it to any of them if walking and public transportation were my only option. Public transportation in big cities rock . . . not so much in smaller cities strapped for money. So, I'm very thankful for my current mode of transportation.

I'm grateful that I have co-workers who collaborate and share with me. If they chose to, they could be stingy and withhold knowledge and stab me in the back at any change they get. But, so far as I can tell, they don't. I really appreciate that.

I made it through my 20 minute workout. It was tough and I really wanted to quit around the 11 minute mark-- but I made it through. I'm happy about that.

Positive Event from the Past 24 Hours:

I found some pictures from the Hubble Deep Field Telescope today and just took the time to enjoy them. I also viewed images from probes that have taken pictures throughout our solar system. Our Universe is so amazing! I'm glad to live in a time where I can witness such findings!

P.S.
I invite you to read my main title post in order to better understand the purpose behind this blog.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Mommy

My Daily Gratitudes: 07/08/2013

Today, I realized I'm grateful that I live in a nation with a stable government (as compared to Egypt).

I'm grateful that my mom is still living and I got to have one more moment with her today.

I'm grateful that I had the opportunity to show myself useful at work today. A co-worker had trouble making a serial connection to a Unix server. It wasn't really any fault of his, but I knew my laptop could do it trouble-free. I zipped over to the data center and helped out. The feeling you get from showing yourself competent and helpful is wonderful; I'm grateful for that.

***

Positive Event from the past 24 hours:

I spent time with my mom today. I told her about all the things I'm learning about happiness. We talked about movies and old times. I love my mother deeply, but I sometimes have trouble showing her affection. So, today I determined to give her a hug. To which she responded-- Oooh, I haven't gotten one of those in a while! I think that lifted her spirits. If you haven't done so in a while-- give a loved-one or your loyal pet a hug or a warm pat on the back. Bond. It starts to work wonders.